Sunday, January 12, 2020

Broadway Update: Sing Street Transfer, The Nanny

A scene from Sing Street
Credit: Matthew Murphy
Will the Once lightning strike twice? Sing Street, the musical based on the 2016 movie, will transfer to Broadway from its run at New York Theater Workshop. Many of the creative personnel including John Carney who wrote and directed the original film and book writer Enda Walsh also worked on Once which moved from its Off-Broadway perch at NYTW to the Main Stem, winning 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical. The general topic of both shows is similar: economically desperate Irish folk finding release and joy in music. Sing Street did not receive universal acclaim so the move is a risky one. The Broadway musical field is somewhat crowded this year and Street will face competition for awards and box office dollars from Tina, Six, Jagged Little Pill, Moulin Rouge, Diana, Mrs. Doubtfire, Flying Over SunsetThe Girl from the North Country and Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical (though that last young-adult one probably won't receive much Tony love.) No show has emerged as the favorite to take the top Tony Award. Despite criticism from cramming in every social issue known to man from opioid addiction to global warming, Pill is probably the front runner right now to be the big winner on Tony night with the two-part, gay-history play The Inheritance as the favorite for Best Play. Sing Street begins previews at the Lyceum March 26 with an opening set for April 19.

The cast of The Nanny
We've had musicals based on movies, plays, songbooks, music legends' biographies, even comic strips (Li'l Abner, Annie, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Doonesbury) but few derived from TV shows--Spongebob Squarepants and The Addams Family are the only two that come to mind. There was talk of one based on The Apprentice. Thank God we've been spared that. Now another long-running series will serve as the basis of a Broadway tuner. The Nanny (1993-9), the long-running series about a nasal-voiced care provider working for a British-accented theatrical producer, is being developed for the stage by its creator and star Fran Drescher, and another sitcom star-creator, Rachel Bloom of Crazy Ex-Girl Friend. Drescher will collaborate on the book with her former husband Peter Marc Jacobson who co-created the series with her and Bloom will co-write the score with Adam Schlesinger. (Sidenote: Drescher and Jacobson divorced during the run of the series and later Jacobson came out as gay. Naturally, they made a TV show out of that situation--Happily Divorced--which ran on TVLand for two seasons.) Marc Bruni (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) will direct. There's a lot of potential here with musical sequences from whatever show Fran's employer Maxwell Sheffield is working on, kvetching from Fran's mother Sylvia and grandmother Yetta, and comedy numbers for the butler Niles snipping at CC, Maxwell's catty business partner. Daniel Davis who displayed perfect timing and dry wit as Niles was the best thing about the series whenever I watched it. No dates or casting have been announced.

In other news, Ivo van Hove's controversial revival of West Side Story, currently in previews, has delayed its opening from Feb. 6 to Feb. 20, due to a knee injury suffered by leading man Isaac Powell. His understudy has taken over until he recovers. A second injury occured recently and it won't cause a further delay in opening, but the actor involved--Ben Cook who plays the Jets' leader Riff--will not be returning to the show. He'll be replaced by Dharon E. Jones.

Here's an updated list of Broadway and Off-Broadway openings. New entries include Transport Group's revival of The Unsinkable Molly Brown, the first NY restaging of this Meredith Willson tuner, and 72 Miles to Go, a new drama by Juilliard playwright Hilary Bettis at Roundabout's Laura Pels Theater, about a family split apart by deportation.

Jan. 15--My Name Is Lucy Barton (MTC/Friedman)
Jan. 19--Timon of Athens (TFANA)
Jan. 21--A Soldier's Play (Roundabout/AA)
Jan. 21--Paris (Atlantic Theater Company/Stage 2)
Jan. 23--Grand Horizons (Second Stage/Helen Hayes)
Jan. 23--The Woman in Black (McKittrick Hotel)
Jan. 29--The Confession of Lily Dare (Primary Stages/Cherry Lane)
Jan. 30--Medea (BAM/Harvey Theater)
Feb. 1--Hamlet (St. Ann's Warehouse)
Feb. 4--Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice (The New Group; Signature Theater Center)
Feb. 17--Dracula; Frankenstein (CSC)
Feb. 18--Anatomy of a Suicide (Atlantic Theatre Company)
Feb. 20--West Side Story (Broadway)
Feb. 24--Cambodian Rock Band (Signature Theater)
Feb. 24--All the Natalie Portmans (MCC)
Feb. 25--We're Gonna Die (Second Stage)
Feb. 25--Dana H. (Vineyard)
Feb. 26--The Unsinkable Molly Brown (Transport Group/Abrons Arts Center)
March 1--The Hot Wing King (Signature Theater)
March 3--The Perplexed (MTC/City Center Stage I)
March 3--Coal Country (Public Theater)
March 5--Girl from the North Country (Belasco)
March 7--Gnit (TFANA; previews begin)
March 9--Endlings (NYTW)
March 9--Unknown Soldier (Playwrights Horizons)
March 10--72 Miles to Go (Roundabout/Laura Pels)
March 12--Six (Brooks Atkinson)
March 15--The Minutes (Cort)
March 17--Vagrant Trilogy (Public Theater; previews begin)
March 18--Hangmen (Golden)
March 19--Nollywood Dreams (MCC; previews begin)
March 22--Company (Jacobs)
March 23--Intimate Apparel (LCT/Mitzi Newhouse)
March 24--Sanctuary City (NYTW/Lucille Lortel)
March 24--The Visitor (Public Theater; previews begin)
March 26--The Lehman Trilogy (Nederlander)
March 27--Selling Kabul (Playwrights Horizons; previews begin)
March 31--Diana (Longacre)
April--Assassins (CSC)
April 2--Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Booth)
April 5--Mrs. Doubtfire (Stephen Sondheim)
April 7--Caroline or Change (Roundabout/Studio 54)
April 13--Plaza Suite (Hudson)
April 14--American Buffalo (Theater TBA)
April 16--Flying Over Sunset (LCT/Vivian Beaumont)
April 19--Sing Street (Lyceum)
April 21--Birthday Candles (Roundabout/AA)
April 21--Between the Lines (Second Stage; previews begin)
April 22--How I Learned to Drive (MTC/Friedman)
April 23--Take Me Out (Second Stage/Helen Hayes)
April 25--Waiting for Godot (TFANA; previews begin)
April 28--Twilight: Los Angeles (Signature Theatre; previews begin)
Spring 2020--Blue
2019-20 (dates unspecified)--New York Theater Workshop--Three Sisters
The New Group--The Seagull/Woodstock, NY
Vineyard Theater--Tuvalu or The Saddest Song
May 9--The Bedwetter (Atlantic Theatre Company; previews begin)
May 12--Confederates (Signature Theatre; previews begin)
May 15--A Boy's Company Presents: "Tell Me If I'm Hurting You" (Playwrights Horizons)
May 19--The Best We Could Do (MTC/City Center Stage II)
May 20--A Play Is a Poem (Atlantic Theater Company; previews begin)
June 2--Poor Yella Rednecks (MTC/City Center Stage I)
June 4--Perry Street (MCC; previews begin)
July 7--Cullud Wattah (Public Theater; previews begin)
Aug. 13--MJ The Musical (Neil Simon)
Oct. 20--The Music Man
Spring 2021--1776
2021--Soul Train
2021--The Devil Wear Prada (Chicago, then Broadway)

Future--The Nanny, Cinderella (Andrew Lloyd Webber version), The Who's Tommy (revival), Archie, Beaches, The Bodyguard, Bombshell, Bull Durham, Cagney, Dave, Death Becomes Her, Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical, Working Girl, Half-Time, Roman Holiday, The Wiz, Camp David, Photograph 51, An Enemy of the People, Sherlock Holmes, Singin' in the Rain, Pat Benatar Musical, Chasing Rainbows, Magic Mike, Some Like It Hot, Ever After, The Flamingo Kid

2019-20 Broadway Season
New Plays
Birthday Candles
A Christmas Carol
Grand Horizons
The Great Society
Hangmen (previously seen Off-Broadway)
The Height of the Storm
The Inheritance, Parts One and Two
The Lehman Trilogy (previously seen Off-Broadway)
Linda Vista
The Minutes
My Name Is Lucy Barton
Sea Wall/A Life (Off-Broadway transfer)
Slave Play (Off-Broadway transfer)
The Sound Inside

New Musicals
David Byrne's American Utopia
Flying Over Sunset
Girl from the North Country (transfer from Off-Broadway)
Jagged Little Pill
Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical (previously presented Off-Broadway)
Moulin Rouge
Mrs. Doubtfire
Sing Street (transfer from Off-Broadway)
Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

Play Revivals
American Buffalo
Frankie and Johnny in the Clare de Lune
How I Learned to Drive
Plaza Suite
The Rose Tattoo
A Soldier's Play
Take Me Out
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Musical Revivals
Caroline or Change
West Side Story

Barry Manilow
Derren Brown: Secret
Harry Connick Jr.--A Celebration of Cole Porter
The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays
Kristin Chenoweth: For the Girls
Slava's Snowshow (revival)

New Musicals
MJ The Musical
Soul Train

Musical Revivals
The Music Man

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